Tunisia Regional Development Initiative (RDI)

Investing in the stabilization and development of North Africa and the Middle East is a traditional concern of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2014, a special initiative was launched by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), to enhance people's economic and social prospects in the region. The focus was on promoting employment, economic stabilization, democratization and stabilization in crisis situations.

With the Direction Générale de Développement Régional as national partner, the RDI project centered on the development of the South, central West and North-West as the yet marginalised regions in the Republic of Tunisia, fairly cut off from social progress and economic growth: Unlike in the capital and the coastal regions of Tunisia that benefit from tourism, living conditions in the hinterland were marked by unemployment (23% on average, in 2014), lack of basic education, deficient health care and gender inequality.

Here, across the four governorates of Médenine, Kasserine, El Kef und Sidi Bouzid, bilateral cooperation had already stepped in with a prior project and succeeded in establishing an innovative approach of cross-sectoral participatory regional development planning, under close consultation of government, civil society and private sector parties.

As a result, a series of projects were sketched to put into practice visions towards an integrated development that were formulated in the process. The RDI project (Initiative pour le Développement Régional-IDR) took over and facilitated the projects' runnings as they are derived from the new development plans. In parallel a newly tested participatory planning approach was to be anchored in the governorates.

More participation and enforced technical capacities of the governorates were to strengthen citizens' confidence in  state and public administration, help the target regions catch up in development and bring to life facets of the country's constitutionally inscribed mandate for decentralization. To reduce conflict potential the economic situation in the four governorates was to be improved by related measures.

  • Regional governance structures and selection committees were supported in the selection, control and monitoring of projects;
  • promoters of public administration and the private sector and civil society organizations were accompanied during project design and supported in implementation;
  • technical, organisational and managerial capacities for adjusting and implementing the projects were strengthened. Local stakeholders were involved in bottom-up decision making and development processes.

Time span
2015 – 2018       

Commissioning body           
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Cooperation partner
Dirasset S.A.R.L.

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